Podcast Episode 24: Pink Collar Theft In The Fire Service

In this episode, Curt discusses a little known problem, Pink Collar Theft, with Kelly Paxton. Kelly runs the web site pinkcollarcrime.com and is helping to debunk the myths that many of us have about fire service embezzlement.

Here is more info on Kelly including how to contact her: kellypaxton.com  pinkcollarcrime.com

I just ran my numbers again and here is what I have for embezzlement theft from volunteer departments:

  • 376 total cases 109 of which involve women thieves (includes criminal, civil and disciplinary)
  • 196 criminal cases 55 of which are women thieves
  • 24 total and 11 criminal cases involve husband and wife teams

For embezzlement theft from firefighter unions:

  • 39 total cases of which 5 involve women
  • 17 criminal cases of which 3 involve women

In the most recent example of Pink Collar Theft, Kathy Sue Gwinn, the former treasurer of the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department in West Virginia, pled guilty to embezzling more than $75,000 from the department. More on the story.


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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